New Delhi: After India TV reported the state of penury in which the late athlete Makhan Singh's family was living in Punjab, Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily today announced Rs 5 lakh assistance to his family on behalf of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board.
"After having heard the news about the distress status of the family of late Makhan Singh, Arjun Awardee, I discussed the matter with the president of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board to consider relese of immediate relief to his family. The Board has agreed to release a sum of Rs 5 lakhs to late Makhan Singh's family. ", a press release said.
The matter was raised in Parliament today by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj who said that the late Makhan Singh, who had beaten Flying Sikh Milkha Singh in the 400 metres National Games in Kolkata in 1962, died in poverty and his son was now washing dishes in a dhaba.
After beating Milkha Singh in the National Games, Makhan Singh was then named Flying Horse and given the Arjuna award two years later by the then President Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, while Milkha Singh bade goodbye to track and field.
Makhan Singh was in Army and retired in 1972, after which he settled in Hoshiarpur, but then disaster struck. He lost his leg in an accident and was invalid for the rest of his life. His family was in such a state of penury that he had to sell off his medals for his subsistence.
The widow of Makhan Singh had told India TV in Punjab that she may be forced to sell her husband's Arjuna award medal. Her son still now works as a dishwasher in a dhaba.